A BIG-HEARTED care home resident who was just dyeing to help a nationwide charity appeal has come up with a colourful way of lending her support.
Eighty-year-old Awena Robinson, who has been living at the Bodlondeb home in Wrexham for the past two years, is a major supporter of a range of good causes, having made donations totalling thousands of pounds over the years.
Her latest venture is to raise as much cash as she can for Children in Need and she’s chosen a hair raising way of doing it, which means having her grey locks dyed in a range of crazy colours.
With the aid of sponsorship from fellow residents, visitors and staff she aims to have collected a sizeable crop of cash from her new rainbow look in time for the Children in Need telethon tonight.
Awena moved into Bodlondeb, part of the Pendine Park care organisation, from her home in Pwllheli and has remained as keen as ever to back her favourite charities.
She said: “I don’t have any relatives who need my help, so I decided some time ago to give my money to a variety of charities.
“Over the years I’ve made donations to organisations like the Great Ormond Street children’s hospital in London and various animal charities.
“I’m a big lover of animals of all kinds and over the years have had cats, dogs and budgies. For a while I even worked at an animal sanctuary. So when I heard that the HACK horse sanctuary in Wrexham was in need of help, I decided to let them have £3,000.
“Every year you see on TV what a marvellous job is done by Children in Need supporting youngsters in all kinds of ways, so I chose that as my latest charity to support.”
Awena added: “I usually just make a donation to the various good causes but this time I decided to set myself a bit of a challenge by dyeing my hair all kinds of colours.
“I just arranged to go along to a hairdressing salon in Wrexham and they did it for me.
“I think it looks quite smart and it’s certainly more colourful than my usual hair colour.
“All the staff have been kind enough to sponsor me and I’m also getting pledges from the relatives and friends of other residents when they’ve been visiting the home.
“I want to raise as much money as I can for Children in Need because it’s a fantastic cause.”
Julie Milligan, a senior nurse at Bodlondeb, praised Awena for her multi-hued money-spinning idea.
She said: “This is just typical of her because she’s such a colourful lady and a real star of the home.
“Everyone at Bodlondeb loves her because she has such a big heart and a great sense of humour.
“Awena just came along and said she wanted to have her hair dyed like a rainbow to raise money for Children in Need, so we helped her organise the appointment with the hairdressers who did it for her.
“Everyone thinks she’s pretty brave having it done in different colours but it’s so eye-catching that everyone on the staff along with visitors have been queuing up to sponsor her.
“She has quite a few pounds pledged so far and I’m sure that over the next few days the total amount will be very worthwhile.”
Bodlondeb was officially opened in 2011 by Wales’s First Minister Carwyn Jones who called it a “pioneering model of care”.
It is a centre of excellence for people with dementia and offers a comprehensive range of services.
Each eight-bed unit is individually staffed enabling the centre to focus on a wide range of dementia and mental health needs, including functional, organic and affective disorders.
With lounges in each unit for relaxation, stimulation and communal living, the centre prides itself on having a true family feel.
Heavy emphasis is also placed on music and art therapy for residents, with staff leading frequent sing-alongs for residents and weekly creative classes being run by an artist in residence.
This year’s Children in Need appeal show will see iconic host Sir Terry Wogan joined by Tess Daly, Fearne Cotton, Rochelle Humes and Nick Grimshaw.
Sir Bruce Forsyth will return to Strictly Come Dancing alongside Tess Daly and hit BBC One show Call the Midwife will get a glittering Strictly makeover as four of its stars take to the dancefloor.
In another highlight of the night Harry Hill will take viewers on a whirlwind tour of the history of TV.
Multi award winning songstress Ellie Goulding will be live in the studio with an exclusive performance of her forthcoming single Army whilst music legend Rod Stewart will treat the audience to a performance of his new song Way Back Home.
Last year, Children in Need raised a record £32.6 million.